Over the past year or two I’ve been dealing with anxiety, I would say it was triggered by my pregnancy. Something quite different to what I’m used to feeling. I’ve battled with depression for a long time, I’m used to that deep, hollow feeling. I’m used to feeling so numb and just down that I can’t function. I’m used to just sleeping and sleeping. But my god anxiety is so different. I can’t sleep, I can’t walk anywhere without freaking out about everything. Are people looking at me? Why are they looking at me? Shit, I forgot my shopping bags, I can’t go back in case someone thinks I’m leaving and wants my parking spot. Thinking about al the coulda’, shoulda’, woulda’s of my past. Lying awake for hours thinking about every conversation I’ve ever had, wondering about what I should have said differently, if I should have said anything at all. Unable to keep friends because I just can’t physically deal with situations, so I just block everyone out and shut down. Absolutely losing myself to a chest crushing feeling. Feeling anxious about if my method of parenting is going to produce an absolute drop kick of an adult. There is so much going on that my mind just feels like the middle of Times Square.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’ve conquered my anxiety, because that would be a lie. I’m not going to sit here and say that I am no longer depressed either. I’m not going to sit here and tell you all the things I’ve done to make it go away, because to be honest not much is working at the moment. I guess this is just me now. Being active has helped to some extent, but mostly it just tires me out enough that I fall asleep quicker than I would if I’d done nothing during the day. Talking about it to another person has made it overwhelming. I cannot physically get everything to come out of my mouth without a lot of blubbering and some snot bubbles.
In the past to try and conquer my depression I had tried medication, healthy eating and psychologists. It was nice to let it all out, and just to cry. It made it manageable. But what I’m finding with anxiety is that I cannot talk. I mean I can talk, obviously. But I cannot let the things that wind me up, out. It sends me into this frenzy and it’s incredibly uncomfortable. So, I tried Hypnotherapy. The first therapy session where I didn’t really have to talk, I just had to tap my finger and listen to a soothing voice. It made me actually sit there and listen to my mind and what it had to say, without talking over the top of it. I learnt to be accountable and I learnt that in some situation’s things were out of my hands and there is nothing I could do to change them. I explored my mind, I was able to sort my emotions which is what I really needed to do, because I just let them run wild. I live an active lifestyle, I play social sports, I go to the gym, I do Pole fit and I do Yoga. It’s a lot, but as I said, it does help me tire myself out, it’s also an outlet, but I’m still not 100% looking after my mind like I should.I think that will come with time. I thought I could just treat my anxiety like I treat my depression, and I held onto that for so long that I was ignoring what my body was trying to tell me. I simply couldn’t treat them the same. Now that I’ve come to terms with that things are a bit better, hence the blog.
This blog is helping me keep track of my thoughts and emotions, the same way people track their food intake I suppose. Of course, this comes with its own set of anxious thoughts. Will anyone read this? Will people pull the piss out of me? Will I fail?
People have read this, it’s not my problem if people pull the piss, it’s theirs. I started, so I will never fail.
I have always prided myself on being somewhat open with my struggles with my mental health, especially with close friends. But one day I just stopped talking about it, I buried it so deep it started to fester. Not talking about what was going on made me hateful and it made me so bitter. I think it comes back to a comment a friend made.
“It’s not that bad.”
It hit me so hard that even today I don’t want to be open, in case someone says that to me again. That simple sentence made me feel so small, it made my inner struggle seem minute. It was not the first time. In high school when I was at my peak with my struggle, I opened up to my friends. Know what they did? They ignored me. There was no offer of help. Nothing. It brought me back to that moment. So I just didn’t bother her with my problems anymore. I didn’t bother anyone.
Isn’t it funny how things can be traced back to something so seemingly small?
I get told all the time that I’m such a bright and happy person, that I seem so driven. Well in absolute truth, I am not. But society and personal experiences has told me that I should not air my dirty laundry. That when people ask how you are, or if you’re okay, that the only response you should give is “Yes I’m fine, you?”. That in truth they don’t really want to know. I’m so sick of that. When I ask people how they are, I genuinely want to fucking know. I want them to feel like they don’t have to give me a robotic response. I know some people, even myself, say to themselves, “Oh I don’t want to bother laying it all out”, well I can tell you that you should. Because in absolute truth, how can anyone know that you are struggling, if you don’t tell them? We are not mind readers. I know people will go onto say, “Oh but you would know if your friend/family member was depressed/anxious”. Well, no because all it takes is one person to make their situation feel like nothing and the walls go up. It’s fucking dangerous. So please, if someone reaches out, don’t ignore them, don’t tell them that it’s not that bad. Just be there, try to be understanding. Don’t be a dick.
Leading up to writing this my anxiety has been crippling. I’ve been scared to go out in case I run into old friends, I’ve wanted to cancel and hide away. I’ve been struggling to be nurturing towards my daughter. I’ve wanted to just hide away into the darkest parts of my mind. Well, I did. But I just cant do that anymore. Veyda is so innocent and does not deserve to be punished for how I’m feeling, neither does Stuart. But it’s so fucking hard not to project. So I’m working on it. I’m trying to push through it.
I just wanted to be open about how I’m feeling. Because I know I am not alone. I also want people to know that reaching out is scary, but my God it is so worth it. You are worth it.
When you feel so worthless all the time it’s nice to hear that.
Maybe one day I’ll talk about what brought me to all this. But to be honest it’s got so many twists and turns that I think I’d just get lost at this point trying to get it all out.
My biggest goal right now is to not let the coulda’, shoulda’, woulda’s consume me. It is what it is. It’s that simple.